Friday, November 23, 2012

Eagles soar over Spruce Kings in 2OT

Tanner Fjellstrom (17) was the only Spruce King
to be credited with a goal on this night

For about five minutes the Prince George Spruce Kings thought they had taken over second place in the Mainland Division on Friday night, but in the end it was the Surrey Eagles who skated away with a 2-1 double overtime win at the Coliseum.

Tyson Witala had what the Spruce Kings believed was the game-winning goal 30 seconds into the first overtime and it was initially ruled as such on the ice. The Spruce Kings' bench cleared, the celebration was underway. But after a long huddle the officials and the goal judge eventually determined the puck didn't go in.

Play resumed and at 2:57 of the second overtime Michael Stenerson scored the winner for the Eagles as they evened the season series against Prince George at two wins apiece. Stenerson was able to convert after a scramble in front of the net, getting the puck over a sprawling Kirk Thompson in the Spruce Kings' net.

Thompson, the Treasure Trove Casino first star Friday night was rock solid in the Spruce Kings net making 38 saves including a couple of big ones down the stretch in the third period of ensure the game got to the extra session.

His counterpart at the other end, Michael Santaguida was just as sharp making 35 saves to earn second-star honours. Spruce Kings forward Ryan Keis was the third star.

After a scoreless first period, Tanner Fjellstrom opened the scoring for the Spruce Kings in the second period, finishing off a nice passing play with Coltyn Hansen and Keis at 9:57. Hansen was the catalyst, breaking in on the rush, but having the awareness to wait for his teammates before setting up the play. Santaguida got a glove on Keis' shot, but Fjellstrom buried the rebound for his first BCHL goal.

The Eagles got back on even terms at 12:40 of the middle stanza as Stenerson was credited with the power-play goal off a feed from Mason Blacklock. Jordan Klimek was also given an assist on the play.

Neither team had long stretches of dominant play and that was reflected on the shot count as it went back and forth all night long, Surrey finishing with a 40-36 advantage.

The two newcomers on the Spruce Kings blue-line were strong in their debuts, Mark Begert saw plenty of ice time including long stretches in overtime. Kevin Guiltinan used his big body to push the Eagles around and was the Fortis Energy player of the game.

The Dairy Queen player of the game was Spruce Kings forward Bryant Christian who helped orchestrate some excellent scoring changes and played a strong two-way game.

The Spruce Kings and Eagles will do it all again Saturday night at the Castle, with another 7 p.m. start.

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